Bolivia to close border with Brazil

Healthcare workers lift a man who was lying on the ground outside the General Hospital into a wheelchair to be taken to the emergency room that treats people suspected of having COVID-19 in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, July 23, 2020. Police in Bolivia’s major cities have recovered the bodies of hundreds of suspected victims of the coronavirus from homes, vehicles, and in some instances, the streets.

Bolivia will temporarily close its border with Brazil starting from Friday, to prevent the spread of a more contagious Covid-19 variant first detected in Brazil, President Luis Arce announced.

“As part of the measures to protect the population, we are instructing the temporary closure of borders with Brazil for seven days,” Arce said via Twitter on Thursday.

In addition, a presidential decree extended until the end of the month “the application of biosafety and epidemiological surveillance measures and actions aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19”, Xinhua news agency quoted Arce as saying.

The decree gives local governments the power to “regulate opening hours of shopping centres, social, sporting and cultural events, bars and nightclubs”.

Minister of Health Jeyson Auza told local media on Thursday there will be leeway for some cross-border trade during the border closure.

“It is not possible to take measures that suffocate the economy. Therefore, while this border closure lasts, it is provided that there be daily border traffic for a period of three hours,” he said.

Bolivia has reported 272,411 confirmed coronavirus cases and 12,257 deaths.

Was it worth reading? Let us know.